Wednesday Track Workouts

Welcome to the DCRRC Wednesday Night Track Workouts. In conjunction with our year-round distance-specific training programs, and our regular Saturday Long Runs, these workouts aim to give runners of all abilities the fitness to reach their goals. For the novice or casual runner, these workouts will challenge you to a higher level of running fitness. For the competitive runner, track workouts are an essential means to reaching personal bests and to succeed at whatever level you are competing.

Where & When

Unless otherwise noted, workouts are held on the track at Washington-Liberty (formerly Washington-Lee) High School in Arlington. We meet near the concession stand (northwest corner) at 7:10pm and start the workout at 7:15pm. Warmups, drills, etc. are on your own.


Our workouts focus on two of the three forms of speed work used by distance runners from the 5K to the Marathon: Stamina Training (10K race pace or slower) and Interval Training (around 5K race pace). We also do a limited amount of Speed Training (faster than 5K race pace) especially during the summer.

Do not worry if this is new to you, and especially if you feel that track workouts are for "fast" runners. Our posted workouts are suggested "maximums," and can be individually tailored to your current level of fitness and specific running goals. Our coach, Ed Grant, has been leading these workouts for 20 years, and is happy to customize a workout plan to meet your needs.


To get a sense of how fast you should run during these workouts, we encourage you use the McMillan Running Calculator. You can plug in a recent race time and a goal race time, and the Calculator will churn out Training Paces (click on that term) for everything from long runs to speed paces. We recommend applying Mark Hadley's temperature + dew point adjustments in warm and humid weather. Temperature and dew point forecasts are available from the National Weather Service.

2010 Jan-March Track Workouts

Happy New Year! See below for workouts January-March 2010.

The workouts are divided into two categories: regular and novice. The latter category is intended for those in the National Marathon and Half-Marathon Training Programs who have less experience in track workouts, or for anybody else who would have difficulty completing the “regular” workouts. Also, keep in mind that the recommended number of repeats is a maximum – there is no obligation to do the full number. It is better to do fewer repeats at the recommended tempo and interval (rest) duration, than to attempt the “full” workout and not be able to keep up the pace/interval length. Those who are winding back into shape are especially encouraged to do fewer repeats and work their way back up.

As always, the workouts are subject to change due to weather conditions. On days when there is a potential of snow/ice on the track, I will check conditions during the day and, if necessary, have an advisory posted on the website on Wednesday afternoon.


6-Jan 20:00 Tempo Run (All) TRP 3-4 minute jog after Tempo Run,
then 2 x 400M at 5K w/ 200M jog in-between.
13 Jan. 4x1600M (Regular “REG”)
4 x 1200M (Marathon Training Novice “NOV”)
CIP (10K Pace) 400M jog
20 Jan. 6 x 1000M (REG) 6 x 800M (NOV) TIP 200M jog
27 Jan. 4-5 x 2000M (REG) 3-4 x 2000M (NOV) TIP 400M jog.
3 Feb. 2 x 15:00 (ALL) TRP 2:00 jog.
10 Feb. 16-20 x 400M (REG) 12-16 x 400M (NOV) CIP 100M jog.
17 Feb. 4 x 5:00 (ALL) Interval (5K) Pace 5:00
24 Feb. 1 x 20:00; 1 x 15:00 (ALL) TRP 2:00 jog
3 Mar. 8-10 X 800M (ALL) CIP to IP 400M (slow) jog
10 Mar. 3-4 x 1600M (ALL) CIP 400M jog
17-Mar Training Program: Race Prep
Regular:8 x 600M
Interval Pace (5K) 400M jog
24-Mar 16-20 x 400M (REG) CIP 100M

December 2009 Workouts

Welcome to Winter Running!

This winter, our Wednesday Night program is expanding, due to the influx of participants in the Reebok Official Training Program for the SunTrust National Marathon and Half-Marathon. In most weeks, the workouts for the training group and the regular Wednesday night group will be the same. I will make adjustments as the season progresses, and obviously if the weather dictates. If it is so cold that a simple 20-minute tempo run and then a dash to the car is all we can handle, that it what we will do.

Workouts for the training program will start at 7:00. Those in the full or half-marathon training programs should be warmed up, stretched, and ready to go at 7:00.

Workouts for the "regular" Wednesday night group will start at 7:15. This should reduce congestion on the track between the two groups. But, if congestion problems remain, we will move back the training group start time to 6:45.

Please remember the Lane One Rule at all times -- run your "fast" repeats in Lane One, hugging as close to the inside line as possible. Do not run side-by-side. Leave Lane Two clear for passing at all times. Jog your recoveries in the outer lanes, or inside the track on rhe grass/turf.

The following workouts are designed for both the marathon and half-marathon. Most of the work during December and January will be done at three paces: Tempo Run Pace (TRP), Tempo Interval Pace (TIP), and Cruise Interval Pace (CIP). (These terms can be found on the McMillan Running Calculator©, accessible from this page.)

For Wednesday night regulars, TRP and TIP are 10-Mile race pace -- but as you can see from the McMillan calculator, TIP (used on shorter tempo intervals) is a bit faster than TRP (used on steady interval runs of 15 minutes or more).Cruise Interval pace approximates your pace for a 10K. For the regular Wednesday night group, weather permitting, we will throw in a couple of Interval or 5K pace workouts -- in February and March.

Many ask whether they should base their speed on their past times, or the times they are shooting for. As long as your goal pace is realistic, it’s fine to train at that pace. But be careful about over-doing things, and it is a good idea to start at the slower end of the pace ranges found in the McMillan Calculator©.

Some hints, particularly for those in the training programs: Workouts can be customized, but preferably, such “customization” should take place by varying paces. This should be done in consultation with one of the coaches. For examples, some might wish to do some faster speed (“Interval Pace”) work later in the program. This can be accommodated.

The schedule here is not set in stone, either for individuals, or for the group. Individual coaching means just that. These will be the basic workouts for the group; we will adjust as the needs of the group and weather conditions warrant. In addition, you should consult with your coaches regarding questions on the number of repeats or intensity that you should be dong.

Finally, for those who cannot make the workouts: These workouts can be done on a treadmill, or on a measured trail (preferably flat). If that is not available to you, a good all-purpose workout is Hill Repeats. Try a half-dozen repeats up a moderately steep hill of 150M to 200M in length. Run the hills up comfortably hard – not all-out. Jog down the hill for your recovery.

Everyone should begin the workouts with a warm-up jog of at least 1 mile, preferably 2 miles. Warm down should be at least 1 mile of jogging, plus some stretching.

Now, the workouts:

Tempo Run Race = TRP = 10-Mile to Half-Marathon race pace.
Tempo Interval Pace = TIP = 10-Mile race pace or slighty faster.
Cruise Interval Pace = CIP = 10K race pace.

Date Distance & Suggested 
# of Repeats
Pace --McMillan Running Calculator 
Will Help Choose Your Pace
Rest Interval

Regular Workout

12/2/2009 10 x 400M TIP 100M jog
12/9/2009 3 x 1600M CIP 400M jog
12/16/2009 Christmas Relays: 2 person teams Alternating 400M - 10 x 400M for each team member Your teammate's turn!
12/23/2009 Track Closed.  20-Min Tempo run as part of 45-60 minute total run. TRP Warm up and warm down 15-minutes each.
12/30/2009 Track Closed:  20-Min. Tempo run as part of 45-60 minute total run. Choose hill about 150M to 200M in length. 6 repeats. Warm up and warm down 15-minutes each.

Workout For The National Marathon Training Program

12/2/2009 8 x 400M TIP 100M jog
12/9/2009 4 x 800M CIP 400M jog
12/16/2009 Christmas Relays
Your teammate's turn!
12/23/2009 15-min. Tempo run as part of 45-minute total run. (About 40 seconds per mile under marathon pace). Warm up and warm down 15-minutes each.
12/30/2009 20-minute tempo run as part of 50-minute total run. (About 40 seconds per mile under marathon pace). Warm up and warm down 15-minutes each.

See you at the track!

Coach Ed


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Directions to Track

Track workouts are held on the track at Washington-Liberty (formerly Washington-Lee) High School.

From Washington DC: take I-66 east to the Glebe Road exit, turn right on Glebe, right on 15th Street for about 0.4 miles, to Stafford Street, turn right and cross over I-66 and the school is on your left.
From Vienna and points west in Virginia: take I-66 east to the Fairfax Drive exit, follow Fairfax Drive for about 0.8 mile to Stafford Street, turn left for about 0.3 miles and the school is on your right.
From Alexandria: take Glebe Road going north until turning right on 15th Street, and proceed as from DC.
Metro: Washington-Liberty is a short walk from both the Virginia Square and Ballston Metro stations (Orange/Silver lines).

 DCRRlogotypeRRCA member

The DC Road Runners Club is a member of the Road Runners Club of America and is also affiliated with USA Track & Field. We provide a year-round schedule of running events that offer everyone a chance to participate regardless of age, gender, or athletic ability.